Unconventional Home + Strategic Marketing = Premium Price!
When most Real Estate Agent are faced with an unusual home that would be attractive only to a small pool of buy- ers, the conventional wisdom is to price low, expose the home widely, cross your fngers and hope for the best. Luckily for his clients, Chris Iverson is not most Real Estate Agent. Chris knows how to think strategically and how to market a home in a way that turns a perceived weakness into a strength. The result? An exceptional price for an unconventional home.
Unique Home, Custom Marketing Strategy
The condo at 337 Ramona wasn’t for everyone. Terry and Mauri purchased their home over two decades ago, and decided to completely renovate it in 2008 into a sleek, ultra-modern work of art. Although aestheti- cally beautiful, the condo featured dramatic architec- tural details that might give a reasonable person pause. The “stairs” to the top foor were more like a rimless ladder, foating without handrails. And the upstairs hallway foor was made of glass.
While other Real Estate Agent recommended their cookie-cut- ter approach to selling the condo, including “suggesting staging with overstuffed couches,” says Terry, “Chris got our place and the demographic of the person who would like our home and its unique features. It’s a stark, modern house. Chris got that there are just a couple of people who would be interested and they would be interested because of the way it looks now.”
Other Real Estate Agent thought that a limited buyer pool meant that they should price to attract the most attention possible. Chris took the opposite approach. “I knew that there was only one property like this and the one person who loved it would pay a premium price for it,” said Chris. His job was to fnd that person and commu- nicate the extraordinary nature of the home in a way that would make it valuable to that buyer.
“I had in my mind, $1.8 million,” said Terry in regards to selling price. Chris suggested a higher price. “It re- ally seemed like Chris knew what he was doing, so I said, ‘You’re the guy. You know what’s going on in the market. I’m not going to second guess you. If that’s the price you think is right, so be it.’”
“Chris backed up his pricing with data,” said Mauri. “He was always watching the sales in our area of condos and they were increasing in price. He did his homework and he didn’t just do it once. He watched the market over the several weeks we were heading into listing.”
They decided to put the condo on the market at a pre- mium price of $1,998,000, knowing that they were aim- ing high. The sellers’ new home was not yet completed, so they were in no rush. Chris thought it could take up to three months to sell, and that would give him plenty of time to fnd the right person would be willing to pay up for the unique property.
High-End Marketing Materials
Chris produced high-resolution, artistic photographs for the home website that showed the condo at its best. Chris profled the buyer as a young single person or couple, likely in technology with some post-liquidity money. This buyer was very likely to fnd the home on the web.
“With our Sotheby’s affliation, the listing gets pushed out to 20 or more media outlets, where buyers are looking,” said Chris. The idea was that buyers would qualify themselves by looking at the website photos, screening out looky-loos and buyers who weren’t serious. The quality and essence of the website would draw the exact type of buyer who would be intrigued enough to want to move to the next step of seeing the house in person.
Limited Access and Control of the Message
“Other agents suggested pricing low and holding open houses to get the most people through,” said Chris. “That was the absolute worst way to market this home. There was no handrail on the stairs and the upstairs foor is glass. The last thing you want is having families troop through on the weekends.”
Not only was there safety and liability issues, but Chris also realized that the sellers were fastidious about the cleanliness of their home and that having random agents and buyers traipsing through the home would be stress- ful. Instead, Chris had buyers and their agents contact him directly—no lockbox. This way Chris could control who saw the condo and be present for every tour to guide the experience.
Tough Negotiating and a Happy Ending
Within two weeks on the market a technology entrepre- neur, who was moving from Japan, where the aesthet- ics were similar to the condo, saw it and fell in love. He made an offer close to asking, but Chris pushed further to a sales price of $1,980,00, all cash, no contingencies, with a free two-month rent-back.
“I really saw Chris’s character in the negotiations. That price difference was of marginal beneft to him,” said Terry. “I feel like he fought for us, respected us and our home and got us the best possible price.
“Chris was awesome. He was creative, strategically and tactically excellent with amazing follow through. We would absolutely recommend him.”